Bust of Dante, Northwestern State University of Louisiana (Natchitoches, LA)

Contributed by Robert Jones (Louisiana State University, Alexandria ’19)

Nirvana Sued For Use of “Upper Hell” Map

“Move over smiley face. Welcome to the Seventh Circle of Hell.

“Nineties grunge-rock band Nirvana, already embroiled in a long-running legal battle against fashion company Marc Jacobs over its ‘happy face’ t-shirt designs, now finds itself on the less happy end of a new copyright infringement lawsuit worthy of Dante’s trip through the underworld.

“The complaint, filed in federal court in Los Angeles [in April 2021], claims that Nirvana infringed an illustration first published in a 1949 English language translation of Dante’s Inferno. The drawing depicts Dante’s circles of Upper Hell and, like Nirvana’s smiley face logo, has been featured on the band’s merchandise for decades. [. . .]”   –Aaron Moss, “Foreign Works, US Rights: The 7th Circle of Copyright Hell?” on Copyright Lately (April 30, 2021)

The disputed image was featured on the B-side of Nirvana’s debut album Bleach (Sub Pop Records, 1989).

Contributed by Jared Brust (Florida State University ’21)

Liam Ó Broin’s Commedia Lithographs (2021)

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Irish printmaker Liam Ó Broin completed a series of 100 lithographs based on Dante’s Commedia in honor of the 700th anniversary of the poet’s death in 2021. The lithographs are currently available to view in an online exhibit sponsored by the Centre for Dante Studies in Ireland (CDSI).

“Dante’s search on his journey was to go to the depths of the human imagination. In that journey he reveals himself as one who has a deep understanding of the nature, and importantly, the necessity of the human scheme of community. He also reveals, however flawed the mechanism from a political aspect was at the time, a very clear understanding of the way a city state, and by extension a nation, needs to be structured as an entity for good government – its core must be social justice. Here we have Dante the poet, Christian, philosopher and politician – fused into one.”   –From the Artist’s Statement.

Read more about Liam Ó Broin’s career at the artist’s personal website.

View our previous post on Ó Broin’s 2012 Inferno exhibition at Graphic Studio (Dublin) here.

We extend our great thanks to the artist for permission to reprint the image above.

“Dante is remembered most for his depiction of hell. This sculptor wants us to remember heaven, too.”

“VATICAN CITY (RNS) — In preparation for the 700 anniversary of the death of medieval poet Dante Alighieri, a Canadian artist is creating a sculptural tribute to his ‘Divine Comedy’ that would be the first sculptural rendition of the entire poem.

“‘In our culture Dante is becoming lost,’ said sculptor Timothy Schmalz in an interview with Religion News Service on Monday (July 20).

“Not only is Dante less and less required reading, Schmalz said, but his ‘Divine Comedy’ is often misrepresented by putting the focus only on the first part — the descriptions of hell and its fiery punishments.

“The Italian poet captivated generations by telling his imaginary journey through hell, purgatory and heaven. His use of popular Italian dialect in his writing, instead of the more high-brow Latin, earned him a title as the ‘Father of the Italian Language.’

“’Because I am a Christian sculptor I will right this wrong,’ Schmalz said. ‘I will do what has never been done before in the history of sculpture, which is to create a sculpture for each canto of the ”Divine Comedy.””  –Claire Giangravé, America, 2020

Read the full article here.

Marinella Senatore, illustrations (2021)

“For the 2021 event Dante Days in Foligno, Italy, Marinella Senatore has illustrated the anastatic copy of the first printed edition of Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy […which was] was published on 11 April 1472 in Foligno, Italy, by Johann Numeister and Evangelista Angelini, in the worksop of Emiliano Orfini. The city of Foligno is therefore inextricably linked to the name of Dante and his universally celebrated poem.

“Since 2006, works by international artists such as Mimmo Paladino, Omar Galliani and Ivan Theimer, have been created for the occasion of the annual Dante Days. Each artist has produced an engraving, usually in lithographs or woodcuts, for the three main canticas: Inferno (Hell), Purgatorio (Purgatory) and Paradiso (Paradise).

“This year, Marinella Senatore has created five original subjects that gracefully illustrate Dante’s epic allegory, printed by hand through photolithography technique.”  […]   —Artvisor, April 13, 2021

Click here for the recording of Marinella’s livestream.

Dante for Children and for Curious Parents (2021)

Purgatorio Bambini

Pia de’ Tolomei speaking with Dante and Virgil in Purg. 5

“This is a tweet from Federico Corradini, illustrator, on his new children’s adaptation of Purgatorio in the series Dante per bambini e per genitori curiosi, illustrated for Silvia Baroncelli, author. The first book in the series, Inferno, was published earlier this year. The series is for sale on Amazon (I imagine Paradiso is forthcoming!).”  –Kate McKee (Bowdoin, ’22)

 

Dante Alighieri: A Suite Of Thirty-Four Lithographs

“The enduring power of Dante’s imagination in his masterpiece The Divine Comedy has inspired artists from the Middle Ages to the present. On reading this literary epic, the artist Liam Ó Broin began three years ago the daunting challenge to create 34 coloured lithographs in response to each canto of Inferno. Although faithful to Dante’s text, Ó Broin through his powerful imagery brings his personal perspective to bear on the central themes and contemporises Dante’s voyeuristic passage through the realms of Hell by portraying the Inferno of our time.  As Ó Broin states  ‘the one which can be created by ourselves and for others, in the here and now.’ These lithographs not only deepen our appreciation of the richness of the epic’s poetic language, but also seek to examine the multi-layered meanings of the text – universal themes of life after death, divine justice and punishment, man’s immoral actions and crimes to mankind.” [. . .]    —Liam Ó Broin

The Inferno lithographs were exhibited at Graphic Studio (Dublin) in 2012.

Selected prints from Liam Ó Broin’s Inferno series, including a limited edition box set (now sold out), were available for purchase here.

“Dante’s Inferno :: book fanart (non-TØP)”

Amino user F R Ø S T Y creates Inferno fan art. View more of their art here.

Don Thompson’s “The Wood of Suicides”

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“The Wood of Suicides. Canto XIII, Inferno. These images were taken adjacent to campus, after the Malibu fires.” [. . .]    –Don Thompson,  d.t. pepperdine, October 2007.

Emma Safe’s “Between Three Worlds”

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“Taking influence from personal experience, classical mythology and Dante’s Commedia, concentrating particularly on existential and ontological themes, the works collected as Between Three Worlds explore human potential and human transience. Space and time is radically questioned. Figures are pulled between states of being; through sublime ascent, catastrophic destruction and the uneasy predicaments in-between. Avoiding idealism and with no certain answers, these works attempt to question different types of love, different states of being, examining the edges of existence and beyond.” [. . .]    –Emma Safe, Between Three Worlds.